By: Taylor Empey ISSA – CFT, SFN, SET, Elite Trainer Level I
It is apparent, given the current state of the obesity epidemic in America, that efforts to treat obesity, and other related diseases, is not working to reverse the problem. Currently the rate of development of both obesity and type 2 diabetes is still on the rise. Though some of the efforts that have been made to help treat and reverse these conditions post-diagnosis may have positive impacts, it is clearly not an effective long-term solution.
Prevention, not just post-diagnosis based treatment, is a more effective and healthier approach. This approach should be adopted in order for us to get a real handle on the situation. Medical and health professionals need to figure out more effective forms of preventative measures vs only helping patients with post-diagnosis based treatments.
However, due to the fact that the healthcare system is set up in such a way that there is no substantial financial incentive for healthcare providers to give preventative counseling (since they only get paid when patients are ill), the state of health nationwide in the United States continues to get worse overall while the healthcare system continues to make money off of treating ill patients vs keeping their patients healthy from a preventative standpoint.
It is hard to say whether a specific method of obesity prevention advice will be effective or not until the proper long-term research has been conducted, but it is clear major changes need to take place in the health care industry if we as a nation want to reverse this epidemic.
Some areas where greater improvement is needed are school lunch programs, school physical education programs, food labeling and nutritional education for children and consumers, and looking into how to approach issues like food deserts and government policies oriented around food, nutrition, and supplementation. Though some of these areas have already been addressed recently or in the past, more changes in these areas may be required to help shift these health-related epidemics in the United States.
Medical and health professionals need to start shifting their focus towards prevention, not just treatment, but due to the way these professionals are paid and incentivized this may not be as likely as ideal; doctors simply don’t make money off of healthy patients and that is the reality of the situation when it comes to the healthcare system in the United States.
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